Monday, October 31, 2016

Cauliflower, Potato & Green Pea Matar Dal

Yellow split peas — or matar dal — are not the most frequently used legume in Indian dal curries, but their rich, earthy taste and hearty, chewy texture balances beautifully in this delicious low fat Indian recipe made with potato, cauliflower and green peas. Rather like an Aloo Gobi Dal all in one, the addition of grated ginger, cumin, chili powder, garam masala and cilantro, make a rich, satisfying and healthy vegetarian curry, which is made creamy with the addition of extra water left over from cooking the split peas. Served with fragrant Basmati rice and crisp papadam, the curry is delicious garnished with a dollop of thick plain yogurt, a few sprigs of cilantro and a little lemon zest for extra zing. 

Cauliflower, Potato & Green Pea Matar Dal garnished with cilantro, plain yogurt and lemon zest

Aged Basmati Rice with cilantro and lemon zest garnish

Cauliflower, Potato & Green Pea Matar Dal
Serves 4-6
Recipe adapted from 'Flourishing Foodie'

5 cups water

1 cup dried yellow split peas, rinsed
1 bay leaf
4 tbsp ghee or butter
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
2 cups potatoes, chopped into 1/4-inch size pieces
2 cups cauliflower, separated into small florets
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin 
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup chopped cilantro, for garnish
1 lemon, zested
6 servings of Basmati rice or naan bread
1 cup plain yogurt, for garnish

Bring 5 cups of water to boil in a large pot. Once boiling, add the split peas and a bay leaf, and reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook until the split peas are soft, mushy, and falling apart, about 70-90 minutes.

While they are simmering, in a large frying pan, heat the ghee or butter, on medium. Add the onions and fry until translucent and soft, about 10-15 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, potatoes, and cauliflower and fry until soft, about 30-40 minutes.

Add the turmeric, chili powder, garam masala, and salt to the cooked dal — there should still be 1 1/2 cups of water left from split peas in the pot. Add the cauliflower, potatoes, and frozen peas, adding additional water if necessary, so that the sauce has enough moisture to produce ample sauce. Simmer on low for 20-30 minutes until the curry is creamy and cooked through. Season with extra salt or chili powder as needed. Garnish with chopped cilantro, a dollop of yogurt, lemon zest and serve with Basmati rice or naan bread.

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